Watching the Boeing 777X first flight today

Posted By on January 25, 2020

EDIT – A Boeing 777X airliner lifts off for its first flight at Paine Field on January 25, 2020 in Everett, Washington. Getty images – Stephen Brashear

The new Boeing 777X enters the next phase of its rigorous test program. Based on the most successful twin-aisle airplane ever, the Boeing 777, and with advanced technologies from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the 777X will be the largest and most fuel efficient twin-engine jet in the world, with an exceptional passenger experience.



Old jack stands: A friend shared this as an automotive PSA

Posted By on January 24, 2020


Just your average PSA guys. Just because you use jack stands, doesn’t mean you’re safe. Always throw something else under the car if you’re going to be under it.

My father and I just had a trusty old jack stand fail. Folded right over unexpectedly, luckily he was just rotating tires at the time, so no one was under the car. 2019 Subaru Forester with 6k miles resting on its rotor at front tow hook point. Luckily no damage at all, and thank whatever deity is out there that no one was underneath.

I’ll clarify- these are super old 1.5 ton stands that my father has used for 20 years. Not my first choice, I use HF 3 and 6 ton.

Keeping woodworking bench dogs handy but out of the way

Posted By on January 23, 2020


It has taken years, but I’ve finally decided to move my woodworking bench dogs from the tool tray (see below).

A bench dog is an accessory used on a woodworking workbench to allow clamping of wooden items while being worked or planed.

Ever since building my work table and vices with bench dogs back in the 1980s, I’ve stored the homemade oak and maple “pegs” (dogs) on end in a can or cut off pipe. Unfortunately they stick up too high out of the tool tray or if I put them on their side, they get buried. I thought about eliminated the storage tray, but it is a tradition place to put a few tools off the table’s surface while working on a project and “would” still be nice to have if I used it properly (it is forever a catchall).

The problem with the bench dogs stick up above the table’s surface is that they are in the way when working on projects that extended over the edge of the table. It happen again last weekend when taking apart a few antique Christmas displays inherited from Brenda’s parents, so I had it with moving them. Finally, BrassRosewoodTrySquareI took 20 minutes and a few pieces of scrap oak, I added a spot to the side of the table where they are handy, yet below the surface. Now the work table’s surface is flat and clear from any vertical items sticking out of the tool tray … something that should have been done decades ago!

I also left enough room for a small square, but dislike the aluminum adjustable bevel square, so might try to find a simple small antique Brass and Rosewood Try Squarestay tuned (I sort of wish Brenda’s furniture-maker grandfather would have passed one down).

Sesame Street has Big Bird … but Africa has the real thing

Posted By on January 22, 2020

Just how big is an African Crowned Eagle’s talons? BIG!!!

A wider-view photo below …


The World’s Best-Selling Car makes car enthusiasts smile

Posted By on January 21, 2020

Annalyn on Christmas 2017

Annalyn in her Cozy Coupe
Christmas present in 2017

Although mentioned in publications before (here’s an older article), I always smile when I see the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe in automotive stories. In part, because the car is not what people envision of when they read “World’s Best-Selling Car,” but also because the manufacturer, Little Tikes, was founded in Aurora, Ohio (where I worked and we lived when first married) and manufactured the best-selling one-seater in Hudson, Ohio (the plant and headquarters was about a mile from our house in the 1980s and 90s).

Anyway, posted an article last week highlighting Jim Mariol the designer and his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati (LINK to their article about him). I enjoyed reading the article and all the links, especially now that my granddaughter drives a Cozy Coupe  (photo of Annalyn a couple years ago)  … and remembering the smell of the plastic when the wind was just right from the Little Tikes plant (they were bought by Rubbermaid in 1984, now Newell Brands)

Jim Mariol designed the world’s best-selling car, beloved
by toddlers for 40 years

Daniel Strohl on Jan 16, 2020

It seats just one, has no luxury amenities, sports zero-wheel drive, and its original design didn’t change for 20 years. Still, the car that Jim Mariol, a former Chrysler illustrator and Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild winner who died over the weekend at 89, designed – the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe – went on to outsell every car on the market for decades and remains popular to this day, more than 40 years after it was introduced.

Music Monday: Green Day and the a US National Park road trip

Posted By on January 20, 2020

220px-Green_Day_-_Nimrod_coverMore than a few of us have contemplated just what it would take to see as many U.S. National Parks in our lifetime (and Canadian National Parks for me). Likely, very few of us will accomplish the lofty ambition, but then as I recently mentioned to my daughter who enjoys tying visits and hikes in our National Parks on her family vacations –  it is “the journey Green_Day_House_OF_Blues_2015_2not the destination.”

I’ve seen a similar (or the same?) article before with the map showing the Ultimate U.S. National Park Road Trip before, but when reading it again a couple weeks ago, I was listening to music and contemplating the lyrics to the song “I hope you have the time of your life.” Hm, I then thought, it might be worth archiving the map along with the 1997 Green Day song Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) for Music Monday.

  Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) | 1997

Here’s the Google Maps for the full trip: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

If exploring the breathtaking beauty of our National Park System in one road trip is something on your bucket list, this may be the perfect map for you.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, blogger Randy Olson devised an optimal route to see the most epic national parks across the nation.

The U.S. National Park System technically consists of 59 parks, but 12 of them are in Alaska, Hawaii and other U.S. territories. This road trip is focused solely on those you can reach by car in one trip within the Continental 48.

Even with the reduction of the parks outside the Lower 48, Olson included 47 others along his route that stop in 23 different states. If you’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Joshua Tree or any of the other great National Parks, this may be the best way to see them in one shot.

Those determined to finish the trip can do so in approximately two months. The route covers 14,498 miles. Olson starts his trip at the Grand Canyon, but he designed the route as a loop, so you could begin anywhere on the map and travel in whichever direction you’d like.
The Stops (more…)

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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